Thursday, 28 March 2013

Japanese national to hang for trafficking in 3.4kg of syabu

The Court of Appeal upheld the Shah Alam High Court's decision to hang a Japanese ex-nurse for trafficking in 3.4kg of syabu at KLIA in 2009.

The court led by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali denied Mariko Takeuchi's appeal.

The panel also included Justices Linton Albert and Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

Her counsel Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi submitted that there had been discrepancies in the drug exhibit which was seized and tendered to the court.

“The weight of the drugs had changed during the proceedings at the magistrate's level, compared to the weight recorded at the time of arrest,” he said.

Justice Mohamed Apandi questioned why the weight could have changed and what reason the Customs officers would have to frame the Japanese national for drug trafficking.

He said counsel should provide more reasons to back his theory if he intended to question the integrity of the Customs' officers.

Takeuchi was arrested at a Customs inspection counter at the international arrival hall of KLIA at 9.55pm on Oct 30, 2009.

On Oct 25, 2011, the High Court convicted Takeuchi, 39, of drug trafficking after ruling that she had failed to raise reasonable doubt.

Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad said she found Takeuchi's testimony that she had travelled from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur to pass cash to a friend, only to return with a bag she assumed was “full of clothes” to be fake and illogical.

It is learned that Takeuchi is the first Japanese woman to receive the death penalty for drug trafficking in the country.

Takeuchi, who wore a bright pink baju kurung, appeared to be calm as her lawyer explained the outcome to her, but was seen occasionally wiping away her tears.

Afifuddin said he would be appealing to the Federal Court.


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